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IGN's Next Gen Console Watch: Where Are All the Ray-Traced Games?

Tqaulity

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IGN's weekly "Next Gen Console Watch" this week discussed why there are so "few" ray tracing titles on consoles. Am I the only one who expected far less RT titles within the 1st year of the PS5 and Series X? Especially (as they point out in the video) considering the COVID impact and the extended cross gen phase (games still supporting PS4 and Xbox One). PS5 has over 20 RT enabled games and the Series X has over 15. By comparison, Nvidia's RTX only had ~5 RT titles released in it's first year of availability.

Furthermore, Ryan in particular seemed to indicate that Ray tracing was one of the most pushed features for the new consoles leading up to launch. That's not true. Both companies mentioned ray tracing support as a feature that was there for developers to take advantage of if they chose. But they hardly pushed it as the leading feature, especially Sony. Just go back and look at PS5's launch trailer video. Nowhere in there did they even mention ray tracing. Sony has been pretty consistent that their 3 primary features for PS5 were: Dualsense, SSD, and 3D audio (as they highlighted in that trailer). Microsoft pushed RT a bit more but even in their Xbox Series X optimized trailer, RT was literally only a 3s mention: Xbox Series X optimized trailer

Hmmm....where are all the Ray-Traced Games? They're right here! Some console highlights: Control, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, Resident Evil Village, DOOM Eternal, Spider Man (and Miles Morales), Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, The Medium and more.

Considering the considerable performance impact associated with RT and the fact that AMD RDNA2 is not nearly as performant as some Nvidia cards, I am frankly amazed we've seen this many RT releases on console to date. Once we finally get out of the cross gen phase, we're likely to see even more.

 

scalman

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there cannot be more stupidiest question about game. as games are not about that at all... well crap games empty ones maybe they are, when they are not good at anything else, then showing some tech can be some help at least.
 

Heisenberg007

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IGN can be super idiotic and childish sometimes. They are a bunch of content creators, not gamers.

As you said, there are plenty of ray-traced games -- and I didn't expect these many RT games in the first year either. On top of the quantity of RT games, the RT quality in some of these games (e.g., Ratchet & Clank) is just absolutely mind-blowing and gives me a lot of hope for future games.
 

Punished Miku

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Maybe instead of saying "where are the ray-traced games?" They should have said "ray tracing so far has been revealed to be a massively overhyped buzzword adding next to nothing to gaming on consoles." And they'd be accurate.

Maybe next, next gen will be able to utilize it in a way that's actually impressive. We're already seeing PS4 games like Miles Morales barely include it in 60 fps games, or the big car games putting it only in replays.
 
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As previous posters have mentioned there are several titles which feature RT, however pressuring developers to use RT is no good either. Studios usually have specific objectives when it comes to designing games in terms of visuals and more importantly art direction, RT would only be implemented if it's needed. Also what kind of RT are we talking about here? reflections, global illumination, ambient occlusion, shadows, audio or even physics?

A good example is Spiderman Remastered and Miles, both feature extremely urban environments which means a lot of windows which means a lot of reflections, and of course puddles lol so the use of ray-tracing makes sense and boy did the developers deliver on that.

An example of a game which doesn't need RT I can think of is something like Demon Souls or even Horizon Forbidden West, that's if we consider the art direction of the games, I don't think they would benefit from something like RT reflections although one could make the case they could benefit from RT global illumination but that is extremely expensive in terms of computation and GPU resources. A software based GI system like Lumen can do just as good a job when it comes to delivering on a visual level. I do remember Guerrilla developers saying they were using RT for physics in HFW which should be interesting.
 

kyliethicc

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Cerny himself said he was surprised by how quickly Insomniac was able to add ray tracing to their launch games.

He expected fewer games using RT would exist at this point in the gen than we actually got.
 
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Hunnybun

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They haven't got a clue about tech stuff so it's kind of embarrassing to hear them even try to talk about this.

The real question is why we've seen so few games that look next gen in ANY respect, regardless of whether they have RT.

And I suppose the reason is basically just covid. That and Microsoft not having any games, which I'd guess has allowed Sony to be a bit cautious about showing their really impressive stuff, cos they just haven't needed to.

In terms of RT specifically, as others have said, we actually have seen quite a lot. And they even failed to mention what is IMO by far the most impressive use: Metro Exodus. That game shows the real value of the tech, and what we may get in a couple of years.
 

El Pistolero

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Another quality content from the idiots at IGN. It has been explained times and times again that RT is a resources hungry technique that will be featured sparingly this generation. The consoles are not powerful enough, and there's little reason to sacrifice a good chunk of power to provide a meh result at the expense of framerate, resolution and other graphical effects. Next generation is when things will get interesting, imo.
 

N1tr0sOx1d3

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I’m more than satisfied with RT implementation on Spiderman and Ratchet and to think these run at 60fps so early in the consoles lifecycle. Use it when appropriate what’s wrong with that?
Yes PC is waayyyyyyyyyyy ahead, but consoles aren’t going to touch PC RT capabilities for years if ever.
 
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Kenpachii

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I’m more than satisfied with RT implementation on Spiderman and Ratchet and to think these run at 60fps so early in the consoles lifecycle. Use it when appropriate what’s wrong with that?
Yes PC is waayyyyyyyyyyy ahead, but consoles aren’t going to touch PC RT capabilities for years if ever.

PS5 pro on mcm would be able to do it, but they probably will focus on 8k then.
 
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Agent_Nobody

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I’m more than satisfied with RT implementation on Spiderman and Ratchet and to think these run at 60fps so early in the consoles lifecycle. Use it when appropriate what’s wrong with that?
Yes PC is waayyyyyyyyyyy ahead, but consoles aren’t going to touch PC RT capabilities for years if ever.
Yeah Insomniac was definitely ahead of the curve, it helped a lot that they had a surprisingly good upscaling technique already developed and ready to go and that’s one area where it feels a lot of other console devs haven’t really started to play catch-up yet.
 

Kenpachii

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What’s mcm? Thank you.

Basically multiple cores on one card what the next card from AMD is going to be, and where nvidia will shift towards a gen later if not in there next chips already.

Will give them a gigantic boost on RT performance specially for AMD.
 
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Kenpachii

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Surely not. 8k focus would be so fucking stupid, apart from totally unrealistic technically.

Problem is PR, in many people's eyes the PS5 is already RT capable. They just see RT or no RT and that's it. If its just 1 small room in the entire game having RT its RT in there eyes. So its hard to sell.

8k however is easy to sell when sony pushes new screens.

But then again the PS5 is already 8k advertised so yea there's that.

Who knows tho.
 
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supernova8

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Not really "where are all the ray-traced games", more like "where are all the actual next-gen looking games?".

We've got R&C and that's been about it really. Spiderman Miles Morales and Dark Souls at a push, but even those don't feel like "wooooah next-gen" to me. Honestly, if you look at Half Life Alyx's visuals (even on a relatively shit PC) they are way beyond a lot of console games and you don't even need ray tracing for it.

Maybe they shouldn't piss around with ray tracing, shouldn't try to go for native 4K, and just make games with fuuuuuuuuuucking delicious 1080p visuals that can be upscaled to 1440p, which looks absolutely fine (and not that much worse than 4K anyway) on a 4K display. I say that because I remember hooking my PC up to my 4K TV and playing Squad at 1440p and 4K. It hardly looks any different, especially in motion. If you want to be all anal Digital Foundry about it sure it's obviously better in 4K, but really who gives a shit.

rant over GIF
 
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Hunnybun

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Problem is PR, in many people's eyes the PS5 is already RT capable. They just see RT or no RT and that's it. If its just 1 small room in the entire game having RT its RT in there eyes. So its hard to sell.

8k however is easy to sell when sony pushes new screens.

But then again the PS5 is already 8k advertised so yea there's that.

Who knows tho.

I dunno, I'm not sure people are that ignorant, especially not people inclined to spend money specifically on better hardware.

For me the obvious selling point would be the ability to play the quality modes at 60fps. Those modes are just sitting there ready to be unlocked, after all.
 

Sleepwalker

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Ray tracing is too much of a power hog for these consoles imo, I would rather games that run at 60fps with high fidelity even if the lightning is worse.


Ray tracing is gonna have games dropping to 1080p at 30fps in no time.
 

N1tr0sOx1d3

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Basically multiple cores on one card what the next card from AMD is going to be, and where nvidia will shift towards a gen later if not in there next chips already.

Will give them a gigantic boost on RT performance specially for AMD.
This is phenomenal news. So a better version of SLI?
This would have a huge impact on VR too then, and we think this will be available as soon as PS5 pro?
Id defo upgrade for that and PSVR2.
 

midasmulligan

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The tech is just too advanced for common modern hardware. Without DLSS or the like, it’s just not worth the performance crunch at this stage. Games can’t even hit a consistent 4/k 60, and you want to throw RT into the mix? Nah, it’s demo technology that will look brilliant in a couple years time on high end PCs, but current gen consoles will be out of luck given their fixed specs unfortunately.
 

Kazekage1981

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with some exceptions, i feel next gen games for ps5 and Xbox series x is using jaguar and Polaris/Vega as base for their game engines and using zen2/rdna2 as varnish and decrease load times, and soon to be implemented: fidelityfx as a second coat of Vaseline.

developers have to build their game engines from the ground up only using zen2/rdna2 + SSD for texture streaming. What will it take for them to de-attach themselves from previous gen hardware?
 
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SF Kosmo

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I don't see raytracing being viable for the most part once we start to have games that have way more triangles like UE5.
I actually think nanite is probably gonna play pretty nicely with RT because the whole thing is built around low-friction scaling of high geometry assets. So where you see a lot of games now falling back on obviously lower detailed versions of a scene in RT reflections, I think that's gonna be a lot easier to hide with UE5. And UE5 is already doing something similar to RT GI in software with Lumen so doing a more robust hardware accelerated version seems like a slam dunk.

RT struggles more with scaling resolution. We're not gonna see 4K RT without a lot of image reconstruction going on.
 
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lh032

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current gen just started not long ago and still in short supply....
 

Shmunter

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Metro Exodus I'd say is transformed by it.
It looks different, but again in parts worse with RT as some of the handcrafted atmosphere is diminished. These differences wouldn’t even be apparent without direct side by side comparisons. That’s my opinion anyway.
 
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Hunnybun

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It looks different, but again in parts worse with RT as some of the handcrafted atmosphere is diminished. These differences wouldn’t even be apparent without direct side by side comparisons. That’s my opinion anyway.

Totally disagree. In many scenes the lighting is so good it's probably the best games I've ever seen.
 

Paulxo87

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i honestly dont think ray tracing is worth a shit. sure if you pay attention real close it's neat but they can create a similar effect with a sliver of the resources with some good pre-baked shit
 

Shmunter

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Totally disagree. In many scenes the lighting is so good it's probably the best games I've ever seen.
Fine, I have it but yet to play so I’ll have to see for myself. But some of the comparisons I’ve seen have not been flattering.
 

abcdrstuv

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I don't know about that. Once we out of cross gen phase there will be less headroom for fancy effects like RT or games that push 60FPS at close to 4k.
4k/60 looks like it could be the new standard, and ray tracing the new 60fps that’s a generation away
 

Punished Miku

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i honestly dont think ray tracing is worth a shit. sure if you pay attention real close it's neat but they can create a similar effect with a sliver of the resources with some good pre-baked shit


I'm cool with Mario Sunshine honestly.

Ray Tracing will be cool in like 10 years. The demos I've seen where it affects every aspect of the lighting are obviously neat, but just don't seem possible on consoles at all. Maybe someone will make a horror game with small rooms where it pulls it off.
 
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It really does nothing for me having shiny cars and footpaths, I was expecting more fancy lighting than all the over the top reflection nonsense.
 

Bigfroth

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Funny That this list doesn't have video game on it? This is a list you'd want for some Benchmark demo, I remember back in the day watching a werewolf just stroll down a sidewalk it was cool to watch for 5 minutes.
So we want

60fps
4k
raytracing

And all that for €399?
 

Portugeezer

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It's a cool feature, but I hope it will innovate gameplay in some way. Until then, it will probably just amount to shiny reflections on consoles, and my brain doesn't mind the fake reflections developers have gotten good at doing over the years.
 

01011001

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Pretty sure Astro's Playroom doesn't have raytracing? IGN don't know what they are talking about?

wait, did they say Astro's Playroom has RT? I haven't watched the whole video...

but if they did they clearly don't know what they are talking about and should not discuss this matter.
 

Ev1L AuRoN

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I think consoles have more titles with RT then I anticipated, even in the PC space RT isn't standard, It's very costly to implement and having better performance and IQ is way more important than having RT on every game.